User Songs Suggestions.

Haven’t been on the forum much but it seems like there is alot happening and many users are posting songs and ideas. Great. I just wanted to make a suggestion musically speaking. I haven’t gigged with the Beat Buddy yet and was hoping to use it this weekend for an acoustic gig with my son. I was wondering if there is an ideal level for note velocity on the BB. What I mean is I have sequenced many songs over the years on a Korg T3 and found that the drums sounded best at certain velocities. Ex. Kick and Snare at around 95-110, Hi Hats around 80. Enough punch without sounding overbearing. Is there a sweet spot for the beatbuddy.
I noticed on some of the user files, which are greatly appreciated, that sometimes everything is set at the same note velocity. This makes the drums sound like a machine as no human plays every note at the exact same volume. This is especially noticeable on the hi hats. Does anyone have any thoughts on that or is it not an issue when you are playing live and the drums are part of a mix. I guess I could use the default beats as a reference point.

About the sweet spot, I’m sure it’s different for each different kit. You can go into the drum kit editor and listen to each sample separately, and you can decide which ones you like.

One of the cool things about the beatbuddy with respect to the samples is that there are multiple samples per velocity, so even if you have a bunch of notes with the same velocity, you don’t hear the same sample over and over. one trick you might do, if you edit the midi, is find the cross over velocity, and make some in one band (say 60-85) and some in another band (85-100). If you made half of them 82, and the other have 87, they’d sound roughly the same volume, but subtly different, and also, playing different groups of samples.

What makes a more realistic drum track is setting the velocities to match the way a drummer actually plays. The “grace note” hits on the kick drum would never be as hard as the beat-notes, that would just sound awful. The same goes for the in-between off-beat notes on the hi-hat. If there is a grouping of close notes on any piece of the kit, there’s usually an accent on one of them and the rest are ornamentation. Many of the MIDI tracks you find on the internet were constructed on an editor scroll and usually the person didn’t bother to adjust the volumes properly, or if they recorded with a keyboard, well getting the down velocities right while key-drumming is not easy. It also helps to use BeatBuddy manager drumkit editor to find the velocity/sample boundaries and use that to add color to the sound, putting the accented hits in one sample and the ornamentation hits in the next one down, so the accented notes are brighter.

I know some of you may laugh at me, but when I’m trying to make realistic drum tracks for a cover song, I listen carefully for the flaws of the drummer on the track.

Most of the time, after listening to the tracks, you’ll begin to recognize key differences in each drummer’s playing. (i.e. he has a lazy left foot, he always hits harder with his right hand, when he plays 2 eighths on the kickdrum the second one is always softer, he always rushes his tom fills a little, his swing is tight or loose when he plays dotted eights, etc.)afterthought: no offense intended! I don’t want to be ostracized from the BB forums :slight_smile:

And when creating my own beats instead of copying a cover song I also try to be very cognisant that drummers only have 2 hands and 2 feet, and I try to only play things that are actually possible to play live. Often I do the basic track on a keyboard using only 4 fingers to play the drums, which naturally keeps this concept formost in my mind.(as opposed to step recording)

 About now some of your are thinking, "This guy has WAY too much time on his hands... I just want to play some songs and make some money." This post isn't directed at you guys. But if you don't like that quantized, drum machine sound, by subtle shifts in TIME and VELOCITY when creating and editing in MIDI you can create some very natural, live sounding drum tracks fairly quickly.

The key is randomness. Even the best drummers don't do everything in perfect time and touch, and that's what can give a drum track that "human feel". (That being said, some of the patterns that came on the BB are WAY too loose for my taste... I would have fired him/her the first night...but then, what do i know! LOL) afterthought: no offense intended, I don't want to get ostracized from the BB forums! :-)

This is an incredible way to go about it. Looking for the flaws is the only way to improve anything.

Not at all! We’d love to know what needs to be improved! :wink:

This is an interesting thread. I would love to know enough about drummer styles and midi processing as well as have the patience to tweak the BB midi files so they sound as authentic as possible. But I fear that it would take me too long to get up to speed with it. It does give me an idea though: imagine you had an app that could take any midi drum pattern and convert it to a particular drummer’s style automatically. For example I could download a canned Led Zep midi file that had not been created with a lot of thought to the points mentioned here and then pass it through the app to convert it to a John Bonham style, with high velocities and volumes (?). The app could even add notes here and there were appropriate. Would be pretty amazing and, I think, achievable.

tomd100 now THAT sounds interesting. (but probably VERY time consuming to create) When you get it done, I’ll be your first customer!